I used to really hate on CRKT. Just like I used to hate on Ruger. But over time when a company just keeps on making consistent improvements and good products, I’ll give them a nod of approval. Ruger has been hitting grand slam home runs on their guns for some years now… and so has CRKT. Now, they still make products I don’t care for. But I don’t instantly dismiss the entire brand anymore and in fact… seeing something new from CRKT will actually make me raise an eyebrow. And this “Tuna” actually raised both.
The Tuna is designed by Lucas Burnley, and it gets its name from the overall tuna-like shape. Unlike the Seiko Tuna series which gets the nickname from the can… The CRKT Tuna gets the name from the actual fish. I guess it kinda has that shape? Maybe? But not really. Still… It’s a nice shape.
It’s a sturdy design and feels very solid in the hand. Part of that is due to the Frame Lock design, which I like. The orange spacer and pivot ring give it a nice touch. The clip is a fairly unique design as well and is probably one of the best out there.
The clip affords a very deep pocket carry while staying nice and low profile. The above image shows the spacer giving you a little slot to attach a lanyard tail or something if you wish. Carrying it around other Knife Guys, more than a few asked about the knife I had on me… or challenged a Pocket Check just to see what it was.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the Tuna is peak CRKT… For $44.95, it’s probably their best choice for an EDC knife. Now I say that because I’ve been comparing it to a couple of other knives that cost a whole lot more. But before we get to those… Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. And that’s going to be the blade steel. The Tuna is made with 8Cr12MoV. Which is China’s version of AUS-8. Now, you guys know that AUS-8 isn’t my favorite flavor of stainless. I hold it in about the same regard as bottle Equate Ibuprophen instead of a bottle of Advil Liquid Gels. Not everyone can tell the difference when you take it… But I can feel the difference. I’m well familiar with the characteristics. Also, there’s the whole CHINA factor, which I’m just not going to get into.
Now, a good friend sent this knife to me… And he sharpened the hell out of it. This thing slices insanely well. In fact, I used it for Food Prep shortly after getting it, and it sliced and diced like a gem. And it held that edge very very well compared to other knives with the same steel. Part of that reason is the nice curve to the blade’s cutting edge. It’s very similar to a Spiderco Native, but with an advantage… So let’s compare that.
Using the knife for some time now, I’ve found that the overall design is so fantastic for EDC, that I started to compare it to the Spyderco Native. It’s just a little bit larger folded, but thanks to the Native’s ricasso/choil area, the Tuna has a lot more cutting edge for not much more actual blade length. This makes the Tuna feel like a much large knife when in actual use. And the frame lock is quicker and easier to use to close the blade when you’re done using it. Advantage – Tuna. The Native is truly a fantastic EDC knife, but they go for pretty much double or more the cost of the Tuna. And if you are looking at things objectively, there’s little reason to justify it over the Tuna save for the myriad of options for clip placement on the Native. So if you are a backwards Lefthander from Down Under and have specific opinions on tip direction and pocket location… well, then maybe the Tuna isn’t the best option for you. It’s Tip Up Only in Tunaville.
I also like the fact that the Tuna’s Clip pretty much evaporates when the knife is in hand. It’s not a bother like on some knives. And the whole handle shape fits well in the hand for hard use and for delicate tasks. It’s just a very GOOD design. Combined with the low price… The Tuna is a very astute knife choice. You should get one for your rotation.